featured REVIEW


Lone Catalysts Good Music Superrappin/B.U.K.A. • 2005

'We've been waiting for so long, waiting to play for you some of our songs', a gospel choir begins this album. It's been four years already that we've had to wait for another Lone Catalysts album. In the meanwhile, rapper J Sands and producer J Rawls went for dolo solo. And so, they have built up a reputation which has made this album even more anticipated than their debut, when they were considered a new breed of underground tastemakers.

Their debut album 'Hip Hop' was good but it disappointed us a bit, because the 12"s that anticipated the album were far more greater compared to most of the tracks on their first effort. And if you look at their solo albums, they mostly tend to overshadow the Lone Cats debut. But now, with 'Good Music', the tide has turned more in favour of the group. 'Good Music’ has quality, flair, coolness and it's built together by a mixture of different production styles. It's not just jazzy, it's soulful (with J Rawls being a nu-soul producer too, check his latest 'The Essence Of Soul'), Latinesque ('La Ciudad'), reggae-ish ('L.I.F.E.') and funky ('By My Damn Self pt II') or like J Sands raps 'I'm hip-hop, sample old soul, reggae, calypso'. Very appealing is the old school feel to the tracks. 'Ones We Miss' is some of the liveliest eulogies we've ever heard, with J Sands' rappin being cool, cooler, coolest. Rawls' drums are real smooth, along with the perfectly cut loops and clean snares or the terrific matched instruments. 'Once Before' for example, a beautiful song with an excellent sax added to the very soulful, warm beat. Much alike is 'La La La', containing an ill soul chorus and a highlight appearance by Donte from the group Mood.

Compared to 'Hip Hop', which had only a few features, this album has a lot more guests (18!) but they never tend to push away J Sands' strong appearance on the mic, except maybe for Masta Ace and the impressive but illustrious female MC Angie Allie. 'After Da Jawn', of which the chorus is inspired by Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You', rolls through with a party vibe, more specifically, on a seducing tip. The rap festivities continue with the uplifting, feel-good 'Hustle' ('a hustle is a hustle, whether illegal or not, as long as you don’t get caught and thrown in a box'). 'Good Music' closes with 'Bad Music' (featuring the legendary Mixmaster Ice -UTFO is back!) unless you have the CD; in that case, you'll be able to enjoy the superb, broken jazz of 'Destiny' also.

According to the album's potential, 'Good Music' is a humble title. J Sands raps 'makin good music, no more no less' in 'Brother's Keeper' but we would hardly do it any 'good' by callin it that way. There are adjectives that are more accurate to underline this album's craftsmanship; please choose from 'superb', 'excellent' and 'near-classic'. 'Survival' is a minor setback but in every possible sense, this album has lived up to our high expectations!

POSTED ON 11|22|2005 by cpf

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